A Mediterranean climate with summers warm enough to grow sub-tropical fruits and plenty of coastal waters to produce an array of seafood including lobster, Susan Kirk explores the Moore River region
This region located directly north of Perth includes the shires of Chittering, Dalwallinu, Dandaragan, Gingin, Moora, Victoria Plains, Wongan-Ballidu and the City of Wanneroo.
The area is well known for its olive industry, which according to Carol Redford of Gingin Olives, generates 75% of the state’s olive production, consumed in the domestic market as well as being exported to Europe, the USA and Asia.
The Moore River Olive Association Inc states that olive oil production is forecast to be 2.5 million litres in 2005 and 5,500,000 litres by 2010.
In 2000 the association commenced a drive to establish a regional brand on the back of the olive industry and the Moore River Food Lovers Club was established.
The Club ran successfully for almost 6 years and was heavily involved in the promotion of not only the region’s olive products but the various other foods and wines coming from the area. A number of popular events were held that attracted the Perth consumer market into the region.
Horticulture abounds in the area with a vast array of market gardeners producing vegetables. Mangos are grown extensively, as is citrus and passionfruit.
Wines are also produced and the area specialises in varieties including Shiraz, Carnellian, Chenin and Chardonnay. The Chittering Valley Wine Trail was established some five years ago and features six wineries in the Shires of Gingin and Chittering.
The area is bounded by the Indian Ocean and the coastal areas including Lancelin, Seabird and Jurien Bay have thriving Western Rock Lobster industries.
The region features include the famous Pinnacles, New Norcia, the Gravity Discovery Centre, Southern Cross Cosmos space observatory, the pretty country towns of Gingin and Bindoon and the white sandy beaches of the coast. For intriguing art exhibitions, the Astronomers, Abbots and Artists Trail operates each spring and autumn featuring half a dozen galleries.
The benefits of the region are its proximity to Perth – only an hour or so drive, making it very accessible for day trips and short weekend and overnight visits. Access to Wanneroo a growing city and some beautiful beaches.